On 28th July, MG UK teased the coming-soon MG5 EV. Although the only image they have is this one, I could almost picture it in my brain with 99.9 % confidence. It is absolutely a RE:BADGE Roewe Ei5.
‘New Sail’ & ‘Sail’, what their plates tell, respectively
MG and Rover Roewe are now both operated by Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. (SAIC). The site CarNewsChina.com, which eventually brought me to CC, has documented the acquisition story in detail. Among our local manufacturers, SAIC is the one quite addicted to badge-swapping. That might trace back to joint venture affairs with GM. When GM introduced the Chevrolet brand to us, the job was done by the Buick Sail (Opel Corsa) facelift. I could imagine a scene that, at the meeting when Chevrolet Sail was conceived, there must be a SAIC manager who was taking notes seriously, remembering this is the key to success.
Roewe 950 and e550 PHEV
Roewe is no longer a royal, but a loyal brand that serves us exclusively. Not only the ‘v’ character is removed, but also its British genes: mandarin has no /v/ syllable, and a ‘native’ brand is illogical to have a ‘foreign accent’. Old-day glories were rarely mentioned after early MYs of 750 (almost Rover 75). Instead, Roewe serves as the new Shanghai® which vanished in 1991. Roewe tailored Buick LaCrosse into 950 to provide the local government with a decent commute car. Because of its new identity and lower price, 950 complies the communist party integrity standard that LaCrosse can’t. As a payback, maybe, the Shanghai administration tailored the regional green regulations around Roewe PHEV models, made them recommended choices for ride-hailing services, such as e550, and later eRX5, ei6 and more and more.
‘Copenhagen Blue’ paint + ‘Monaco Blue’ interior: MG eHS the geography master
The luckier MG could keep her BNO passport. Although MG offerings are technically re-skinned Roewes, they endeavoured to wipe out Audi cyber vibes a Roewe would have. They are selling exotic-like cars with bland characters and suicide-like prices. What confuses me the most is that MG keeps emphasising its British connections, but made in the UK was never something here. Except for the hairdryer, the last hit from the kingdom was the opium two centuries ago. MG models always have exciting sale numbers for the first one or two months, followed by a hard plummet. The figure won’t bounce up until next facelift, then repeat and repeat.
Baojun 530 (bumper) variants, the rightmost is the domestic facelift
Badge-swapping of SAIC is a commercial strategy mainly for overseas operation. SAIC now has the bundle of Roewe, MG, Wuling, Baojun, and sometimes MAXUS, the former LDV, as the pan-SAIC fleet. No matter under which brand a domestic model is sold, it is delivered to regional markets with the most appropriate badge. MG goes to all Queen blessed territories and has a CKD base in Thailand. GM generously offered the Chevrolet brand for western hemisphere business. Silver badge Wuling is planned for unexplored markets. The full Roewe-MG-Wuling(red)-Baojun combo is only available in mainland, with different brand images.
As ‘pan-SAIC’ members are leaving for the world outside, the departure (or arrival, on your side) of some models to some regions is happening for sure, like this Roewe Ei5 to the UK. Furthermore, it is predicted to land in MG guise, so natural and logical that the execution is only a matter of time.
from up-left and clockwise: Ei5, i5, MG5, Chevrolet Menlo, Buick Velite 6 PHEV & BEV
Therefore, the moment when MG5 EV was teased, I want to write its mirrored twins, the mainland only Roewe Ei5. In this post, of course, Ei5 is covered. Then i5, an ICE-powered sedan which shares front fascia and interior with Ei5; also, its newly announced MG version – MG5 sedan. Two GM BEVs as bonus, a B and a C. The Buick also has a PHEV option, adds to 6 models in total. Among the six, body styles vary from wagon, hatchback, stepback to (fake) SUV, and powertrains range from NA/turbo ICEs, plug-in hybrid to full electricity. They can move about 15k units monthly all together, hardly reaching half of Corolla or one-third of Nissan Sylphy (Sentra).
Ei5 received positive comments after these two earliest photos were released. Maybe its identity as a wagon instead of a BEV that helped Ei5 get attention. That was in 2017, and irrational BEV bubble began to vanish in mainland. Newly developed electric vehicles with adequate power and range replaced those awkward ICE trannies, and the Ei5 with moderate specs was just a plain one among them. But Ei5 is a wagon! Wagons are not even qualified as ‘endangered’ here because endangered species should have ever existed. With the well-sculptured side stance, a right amount of chrome and multi-spoke wheels, Ei5 looks good.
Ei5 was officially released at Guangzhou motor show in November 2017. It won’t be available in March next year, due to the Spring Festival the time blackhole. This 5-seater wagon has the size of 4544*1818*1536 mm (179*72*60 in), and its lithium battery lies over the 2665 mm (105 in) wheelbase. The trunk is measured at 578 L/1456 L without or with the second row folded down.
Front wheels are propelled by an 85 kW, 255 N·m (114 hp, 188 lb/ft) motor to move the weight of 1420 kg (3131 lb). The power is moderate as the max speed is merely 145 km/h (90 mph) and 10 plus seconds required to reach 100kph/60mph. A 301 km (187 miles) trip would drain the 35kWh CATL battery and within 40 minutes, the 40-kW DC fast charging refills it to 80%; AC slow charging takes 5.5 hours to 100%. MacPherson in the front and torsion beam in the rear. Wheels are 205/60 on 16’ rims. Full disc brakes stop the car from 100/60 in 42 m (138 feet). Electronic parking brake and auto hold are standard along with mandatory ESP and tire pressure monitoring.
The MSRP starts at CNY 214k (USD 31,200), and national/local subsidies are CNY 30k (USD 4,370) each. The 10% purchasing tax is exempted for BEVs. In megacities like Shanghai, a BEV is permitted a free plate while an ICE model has to pay an average CNY 80k (USD 11,700) for registration.
The interior is a charming mixture of shared Roewe components; only air outlets are unique. The steering wheel is a standard Roewe unit wrapped in leather, with buttons in a similar layout as contemporary VWs. I have to say it is a busy design, especially with a busy logo already. Except that, the functionality is OK, as its spoke and rim provide a comfortable touch. It is a ‘3D’ wheel with depth: the rim and the central cap are on different surfaces, and the cap steps back a little. MG5 EV should arrive with that standard MG wheel previously shown.
On the cluster, two half-turn analogue meters, speed and power, spinning in opposite directions; in between lies a 7-inch LCD. This instrument cluster is a shared component, among a lot of SAIC models it appears with different dials and needles. The 8-inch infotainment runs the redundant Zebra OS developed by Alibaba, an evil who dismisses most physical buttons. This annoying OS overly swallowed controls like seat heating. Luckily SAIC engineers did not go further to deploy that 12-inch portrait unit, which would iron the dash surface then leave a hollow screen like a tombstone. Unfortunately, a fatal mutation of this smart car disease, the TOUCHSCREEN-16, has infected Changan-Ford. Parental guidance is suggested for anyone who is younger than 99 years old when seeing interior photos of mainland spec 2020MY Taurus, Edge, and Explorer.
HVAC controls lie on the console facing upwards, making the two knobs hard to read when their indicators are spined to the right. A 12V power slot and 2 USB ports with a sliding lid hide in front of the HVAC controls right under the central dash; even my smaller Asian hand finds the accessibility not ideal. In the pit of knob shifter lies a lever set. 3 upright levers control the driving mode (eco-normal-sport) and the regenerative brake setting both displayed on cluster, and the battery-related settings on infotainment screen. Like every other SAIC model with a battery, the regenerative brake cannot set to the max when fully charged. Seats and all soft padded areas, including the dash, both sides of the console, upper door trim, and arm sets in the middle/on doors can be opted white. But the white interior is never eye-witnessed except show and media cars. Maybe another SGM symptom: interior colours are bundled with paints. Cadillac here always offers 999 colour combos during new product promotion, and a buyer can choose freely from white-black, black-black, and grey-toffee when placing an order one year later. White interiors matter, a sincere call from the subtropical.
Wagons are expected for travelling long, but the tiny battery of Ei5 only permits this car a conservative range. 301 km is under NEDC, so the real mileage should be discounted by a considerable rate, sometimes even larger than the average Cadillac discount in mainland market. 18-19 kWh/100km is expected with heater on in winter, with a 35-kWh battery the mileage could be a sad 200 km (124 miles). Even worse, the battery pack is air-cooled. Without the coolant circulation, not only the cost but also the mileage appears a mega drop. It was not for this compact model only; it was for the brand and was the only option. The flagship of Roewe, the CNY 300k (USD 43,700) Marvel X electric SUV (both a technical and a commercial catastrophe) equips with a 52.5 kWh pack, also air-cooled. Maybe just the influence of the forerunner the Nissan Leaf.
The 2019MY facelift corrected the mileage bug. It was an inner lift actually, as no obvious modification outside. A 52.5-kWh water-cooled CATL battery pack is the new power supply. The new battery slightly adds up the curb weight to 1.55 tones and eats up a little trunk space. 420 km (261 miles) NEDC range is achieved by a 50% capacity increment, and 5 km/h (3 mph) more in top speed. DC charging rate remains unchanged in time scale, while AC refilling duration almost doubles. Heat pump heater replaces the old resistor unit, further reduces the energy consumption. This version is expected to be the MG5 EV. Beijing just strongly proposed battery-switching BEVs, and the Ei5 with a quick-change capable battery has been ‘declared’ in August. Its release is planned for 2021MY, maybe.
As said previously, the Roewe ‘serves’. Being a taxi or something similar is the destiny of many Roewes. From the passenger aspect, they are pretty choices. The cabin is quiet, materials have no toxic smell, and seats are thick and squishy. Plus, I don’t need to suffer the brilliant cluster and infotainment when seating back. The Ei5 is now on duty in quite a few cities besides Shanghai, as the diversity of livery tells. It is very likely to be welcomed by an Ei5 when arriving in Shanghai, if not a VW Touran or Lavida (a mainland-only model based on PQ34 before 2019MY). The local media, Autohome, had a 1.93m (6 ft 4 in) editor did the long-term test of Ei5. As he could fit into the second row without chopping legs off, most passengers won’t complain.
EVCARD holding the 10,000th Ei5 joining ceremony on Roewe production line
EVCARD, a BEV timeshare service operated by SAIC, also runs an Ei5 fleet. During the BEV boom, it was common for our local manufactures to set up timeshare business using internal-sourced products. Beijing’s green car subsidy programme runs like this. Once a new electrified vehicle is ready for sell, the administration calculates the amount of subsidy it deserves. Then the manufacturer announces both prices. The full price is for insurance and tax, while consumers pay for the subsidised price. The administration does the monitoring and statistic work. For a registered car putting mileages on, it is recognised as a valid one for subsidy. Then the sum is transferred to manufacturers annually. It could be a large amount of money, even can save a loss-making company to a profitable one. Registration means getting a plate, and gaining mileage is not a problem for a rental car. That’s why the self-operated timeshare service is a genius business model. Not only the product stock is digested, but also the 30k+30k government subsidy per car pours into manufactures’ pocket.
that Ei5 I enjoyed a free tour on
EVCARD charges an Ei5 for CNY 0.8 (USD 0.12) per minute, plus the optional damage insurance 2/0.29 each trip. Deposit is 1k/145 for basic models, including Ei5 and other funky roofed shopping carts. As I am marked over 650 on Alibaba’s credit system (not difficult), a 1k deposit discount is promoted and therefore, its deposit free. For a newly registered customer, the first hour of the first trip is not charged. So, I enjoyed this BEV wagon on a 45km round trip for almost free. It was indeed a successful trap, that I have used EVCARD regularly ever since. For example, it is a perfect choice for train station commute, to not let my lovely car burning under the sun at station parking lot. The EVCARD Ei5 is a base model, of course. From outside, the only difference is the steel rim with a cap.
This rental is equipped with PEPS, but Phone Entry Phone Start actually. The door feels lighter than expected, too light that the limiter cannot effectively hold it; maybe the reduced sound isolation materials. Soft-padded areas are replaced with light grey plastic. It looks cheaper than white interior but wins the black for sure. As the light grey now forms a harmony colour gradient with the black, silver, and chrome components, way better than that dull black cabin. Also, it looks much brighter. The leather-wrapped wheel is replaced by a slush moulding unit without control buttons, and its chrome middle spoke is now a painted one. This base wheel looks cheap but touches like VW plastic steering wheels, feels soft when grasping hard. Rubber carpet makes additional floor mat unnecessary, but a darker colour is preferred personally.
The cluster is thankfully upgraded to a traditional (and the best) layout. With the large central screen removed, two full-circle analogue flank a 3.5-inch segment LCD. The only configurable content on screen locates in the middle; showing trip 1 in this photo. A default 298km (185 miles) is shown when fully charged, for 35-kWh models. A button on the end of the left stalk switches display contents, all are regular including average energy consumption, lithium and lead-acid battery voltages.
A FM/USB/Bluetooth unit replaces the smart infotainment. A row of buttons was ditched with the touchscreen deletion, emptying a slot beneath the radio. It is a nice space for phones due to its depth. When resting a phone there, its butt naturally points out to get charged. But now the power must come from the 12V slot, as USB ports are gone with the technology. For the same reason, the rightmost level for battery settings now controls nobody.
Unlike poorly engineered ICE trannies, Ei5 still has a sinking floor even the battery pack is hanging under the body. There are height drops between the lower door frame and floor like regular ICE passenger cars. Therefore, the seating height is not influenced, and thighs are well-supported by seats, as drivers’ feet also rest in a lower place. Steering wheel adjusts in 4 ways, and the seat has a wide range moving forward or backward. Sight in mirrors are good. It is an ordinary interior providing the driver with (basic) comfort.
Ei5 drives like waving an overweight gaming mouse on a mouse pad. The bulky battery pack lowers the centre of gravity and adds the inertia, as every other BEV does. The shifting knob lies in a comfortable position and bounces back to neutral once select reverse/drive on both sides. The power isn’t ground-breaking in number, but in first several minutes it still impresses a BEV freshman. The body is stable on straight line due to its curb weight, but it responses to long bumpy roads in a clumsy manner. When the body goes up and down on that kind of road, unexpected horizontal swinging joins the vertical bumping. The suspension is stressed out because of the body mass when cornering in higher speed; it feels like the body is dissembling from the chassis. Brakes are not powerful, but the regenerative brake set to medium could take charge of non-urgent decelerate requests if not to stop. Gently lift the accelerating paddle to reach a point near full release, to activate the coasting function. This trick mimics ICE characters as both motor and regenerative brake are disengaged; it is indicated as 0% on the power meter.
The previous feedback was based on a rental with merely 3,000 km (1,864 miles). One time I got a 10,000 km (6213 miles) Ei5 for a highway trip with my mother and 64kg (141 lb) of luggage, so this vehicle is theoretically half-loaded. But it doesn’t look and move like that. The rear body sinks to the ground and the hood begins to point upwards, which reduces the driving wheel grip. The accelerating worsens quite a bit. When turning, the instant torque pulls the front axis promptly, but the rear with extra weight reluctant to follow. The long-stretched body is twisted and it struggles; tires squeak and interior panels also make squeezing noises. Also, brakes now are horrible. ABS assists frequently, and the car travels much longer before stop. Overwhelmed compact BEV is not funny at all. The European market MG5 EV might get a stiffer suspension and it should act differently.
The sedan variant, Roewe i5 was introduced almost a year later, in October 2018. Hardly can I recall a manufacturer who introduces BEV variant at first then original ICE version, on a same platform. The wheelbase extends a little, reaching 2680 mm (105.5 in). It is a bit smaller in size compared to most local competitors (like BYD Qin Pro, Changan EADO, Geely Emgrand GL). Suppose you are selling a sedan in mainland market, where BMW 3 and Peugeot 508 consciously stretch themselves. In that case, it is better to make your offering no smaller than others. Compact sedans have the fiercest competition, always fully occupy the sedan sale top10. If one moves over 40k units monthly, it could be the first or second; over 30k could be top5; over 15k has difficulty assuring top10. i5 sold slightly over 11k last month, less than BWM3/5. A compact has its selling number matching a premium, indicating it is not a successful model.
red interior was the brochure colour for 2019MY then cancelled forever
The 88kW (120 hp) 1.5NA mates to a 5-speed MT or a CVT. A 124 kW (169 hp) turbo solely works with a 7DCT. MSRP ranges from CNY 70k to 120k, but the cheapest one is expected to be sold under 50k (USD 7,300), the top costs about 90k (USD 13,000). The discount is considerable for a cheap car. Audi had official price cut around 2014/15. To maintain the brand image, they didn’t revise the MSRP, but a default discount was set. It triggered chain reactions, and other premiums started stepping down. Then economic brands could do nothing but suffer.
The sedan is less taxi utility focused than Ei5, so it can have dazzling gadgets to trap those first-time buyers. The hybrid cluster, the combination of segment LCDs and coloured TFT, is indeed an awful innovation. It looks terrible, like a smart rice cooker or washing machine.
similar awful designs from Geely and Chery
When Honda and low-trim Volvos install a smaller LCD on the cluster, they use less important fuel and temp gauge to fill the gap from the screen to the dash frame. Some of our domestic brands design the hybrid cluster in a different way. Unimportant messages reside on the versatile central screen, while speed and tach are on segment LCDs on each side. But segment LCD has a discrete graphic and cannot give out a precise reading. So, numbers are added, making the display crowded.
a page from Buick Envision S declaration documentation, for example
Some background knowledge. The Ministry of Industry & Information Technology of PRC regulates the automobile industry. It requires a mandatory ‘declaration’ of any model before its commercial release. The declaration documentation contains essential product specs and a bundle of images for police identification, including the exterior from every angle, all possible body badges, all alloy choices and all options like a sunroof or luggage racks. Haters will say that are communist dramas, but to us, the ‘declaration’ is a super-cool government-supported car spying programme. Never a car is a secret before its debut, and that bolt-by-bolt warm-up of new Bronco is thus impossible here.
MG5 sedan was a typical official leaking; it belongs to the August batch of ‘declaration’. All the available image comes from its documentation. The spec tells that, MG5 has the identical wheelbase and tracks as Roewe i5 does. Also, the shape of window frames looks similar. The front fascia is frightening and looks like a fish. Maybe MG5 is no longer expected to be a big seller here, so the designer is told to go beyond the conservative orient taste.
Hyundai La Festa – a possible source of inspiration
The slim headlight, the side curves together with the grille remind me of another car, the mainland only Hyundai La(?) Festa. CIASI is the IIHS like organisation and has been performing IIHS style tests since 2017. La Festa got a cracked A-pillar in frontal 25% offset collision and marked M. Half dead since then.
MG5 & MG6 taillights
With a simpler design and less aggressiveness, the rear of MG5 looks much better. The vertical light strips give out Peugeot hint, the claw taillight. But it is also coherent with the MG6 facelift, as shown.
so the skyline in background belongs to which part of Shanghai?
ABC stands for American-Born-Chinese, reverse it we get Buick Velite 6. Velite 6 BEV (right) has similar dimension as Ei5; they also share battery pack. Velite 6 PHEV (left) is supposed to have a modified powertrain from Volt, or Buick Velite 5.
Velite 5. If there is ever a Buick model never popular in mainland…
Velite the non-sense word is the name of local green Buicks; translation is ‘slightly blue’, as its default body paint. In 2010, VP of GM China confirmed the local production of Chevrolet Volt at the 25th EVS. Only 7 years later (for comparison, GM had 20-years local operation till then), the Volt rolled out from Shanghai factory, as Buick Velite 5. However, the ‘new energy’ subsidy programme does not cover range extended vehicles, and CNY 270k (USD 39,500, should be less in 2017) MSRP is higher than most Buicks at that time. Without subsidies from administration, SAIC-GM generously offered a ‘Buick subsidy’ of CNY 36K (USD 5,256). It is really the state of art to name manufacturer discount in that way. Soon SAIC-GM engineers started tailoring the powertrain around the subsidy policy to make the Velite great again.
Velite 6 PHEV 2018 launch
On 17th April 2018, 3 green models introduced on Buick Day. One is the Velite 6 PHEV in production-ready status. Velite 6 BEV had a CG image shown, also seemed production-ready but no actual car showed. The rest is a BEV concept car named Enspire (red in the middle). No timetable declared for the latter two, while the Velite 6 PHEV should be on the market in September. But PHEV finally made its entrance not until July 2020, together with the Velite 7, the mass-production version of the 2018 concept. What happened during 2018-2020?
Velite 6 PHEV and 7
A PHEV should travel more than 50 km (31 miles) on its battery, to deserve the subsidy. That won’t be challenging for Velite 6 if it is developed from 5, as 5 has a 116 km battery range. What engineers should do are add clutches to powertrain to connect engine to wheels, and cut the battery to half. That makes sense why Velite 6 PHEV is arriving first. Prototypes were seen testing in Shanghai in June 2018, on spying photos it has interior ready. However, 2 days before September, when the car should have arrived in dealers, WSJ reported the delay. According to that report, GM blamed battery supplier, A123, as they provided unsafe batteries with subpar performance. But it was not officially translated and reprinted by GM China or SAIC-GM, only local car media forwarded.
For the next 5 months, neither Velite 6 PHEV nor the Velite family was heard, until the 2019 spring. On social media there were rumours saying that PHEV was cancelled due to its horrible energy consumption, no matter burning gasoline or using electricity. It even deteriorates when winter arrived. The testing result unsatisfied SAIC-GM executives, and engineers were asked to redo the powertrain. It is also not an official release and cannot be proven.
Velite 6 BEV
SAIC sold about 7m passenger cars in 2018, including VW and GM models, while only a nano part of them are Roewe/MG ‘new energy’ with positive points. Those positive points were too few to compensate even Roewe/MG’s own ICE sale. Joint venture partners would better get some exclusive clean model before green officers come to shut down the factory. On March 2019, an informal launch of Velite 6 BEV was arranged for media. Prices were then announced on 2019 Buick Day on 15th April. Alongside the new Encore, Encore GX and the GL8 Avenir 4-seat concept (available in 2020 asking for about USD 77k), Velite 6 BEV was priced from CNY 166k to 186k (USD 24,300-27,200). The 35-kWh battery pack was grabbed from Ei5, powering the same motor; A larger 17’ rim was offered, and the rear suspension switched to a standard multi-link module of third world Buicks.
Excelle GT in 2017MY. Excelle GT is the outset of third world Buicks, and the most outstanding one. Its lifetime record was 40,724 units in Aug 2017. In Feb/April/June/July 2017, Excelle GT was nationwide 1st sedan, for 30k, 32k, 35k, 34k units sold. Then Buick gave it a 3-cylinder.
What is ‘third world Buick’? They are Buicks available on mainland market exclusively, and were developed under ruthless cost control. Most of them only provided 1.0/1.3L 3-cylinder turbo in 2018/19 MY, which almost cut Buick sales in half. Correspondingly, their Chevrolet versions are regarded as third world Chevrolets. They are Buick Excelle – Chevrolet Onix, Excelle GT – Monza, Excelle GX – Orlando, Encore – Tracker, and Buick GL6 mini-minivan. If not an enterprise with rich history like GM does, how would one find so many names?
From outside, these models look like first world Buicks, very coherent, very family design. But things are much different inside. It is easy to distinguish a third world Buick from these characters. They have a reduced steering wheel control, a shared rear air-outlet, belt rings which would shoot passengers’ head when side collision, and a reading light unit without always off function, to use one button less.
Unfortunately, Velite 6 has all; it’s good-looking but still third-world. Maybe cost-control is harder for electric vehicles; those cool EV gadgets on board certainly cost more, no mention the battery pack and those thick copper powerlines. In October 2019, 7 months after its first show-up, the water-cooled 52.5-kWh battery from Ei5 and a new 110 kW (150 hp) motor were offered for Velite 6. This motor is not sure if from Velite 5; they have identical power but different torque figures. MSRP unchanged but subsidy went down, and new prices are 178k-200k (26k-29k). The battery range is 410 km (255 miles) NEDC.
The long-lost Velite 6 PHEV is finally ready in the middle of 2020. The re-launch was on 24th July, and only 72 hours later it hurried to dealers. The price after subsidy is 160k-180k (23,460-26,400). Pure battery goes 60 km (37 miles), and with a full tank, it travels 780 km (485 miles) without refilling. The PHEV variant is 100 kg (220 lb) lighter, but the battery slightly invades the trunk. Theoretical energy consumption under pure EV mode is 12.8 kWh/100km, compared to the 13.1 of Velite 6 BEV. So, this dirty CO2 emitter is greener than the mega power bank, travels longer, and even cheaper.
E-CVT and battery pack of Velite 6 PHEV
The revised powertrain consists of a 1.5L 4-cylinder, an E-CVT and a 9.5-kWh battery pack. This 1.5L DVVT engine has 75 kW, 143 N·m (100 hp, 105 ft/lb) output. The E-CVT transmission has two planetary gear sets and two motors integrated to distribute clean or dirty or mixed power to front wheels. The battery pack uses 104 cells from LG Chem. The stacking inside is similar to the Velite 5 style. This ‘eMotion’ powertrain is ranked at 135 kW, 380 N·m (181 hp, 280 ft/lb) in total. It propels the Velite 6 PHEV to 100 km/h (60 mph) within 8 seconds, 2 seconds less than BEV variant. The eMotion has no technology know-all provided for the public yet. But in the aspect of nomenclature, eMotion sounds a little better than Cadillaq Lyriq, personally.
The Chevrolet Menlo proved several SAIC-GM laws: A third world Buick would get its Chevrolet copy, this copy is cheaper, less known, and sold less.
The price of the top trim matches the cheapest Velite 6 BEV precisely. Sold from CNY 160k-180k (USD 23,460-26,400). Menlo sells about 400 units a month, half the number of Velite 6 BEV.
Comparing to Velite, the Menlo has a different exterior, a less different interior, same power and same chassis. It is so ignored that Chevrolet doesn’t offer regular RS and redline kits for it.
C-pillar panel decorated with patterns
So, which one would you pick, Ei5/MG5 the wagon, Velite 6 the space shuttle, or Menlo the thought-to-be crossover?
(Photo credits: MG UK, Autohome, SAIC-Buick)